THE GUN REGISTRY
The minister of public safety, Stockwell Day, intends to exempt long fire arms from the the gun registry. The reason for this exemption is that the rural base of the conservative party is against the gun registry because it claims the registration of guns limits the freedom of the rural community whose members are are inveterate hunters. The hunters are ones who get in their cars which are required to have provincial licenses and are able to drive because they have driving permits and go hunting because they have obtained hunting licenses from the provincial authorities and while they drive on public roads, they try to respect the speed limits which are imposed by the provincial roads departments. These people do not consider that the above permits, licenses and speed limits affect their freedom but the registering of guns impedes their liberty.
There is no doubt that the establishment of the gun registry cost an enormous amount of money, but the recent report by the auditor-general claims that the firearm center which runs the registry has made considerable progress and has operational costs under control. The cost of the annual registration of firearms will be 25 million dollars.
The vast majority of the police forces in Canada favour the maintenace of the gun registry for all firearms. These forces consult the registry 6,500 times daily. The police forces claim that the registry is of enormous assistance to them. It allows them to be better prepared for police intervention indicating if firearms are located at a certain address, it allows them to arrest a person who is carrying a firearm that is not registered in his name, and it has a postive affect of reducing the number of murders in this country. The registry has affected the black market sale of illigitimate firearms.
Andrew Coyne, the illiberal columnist of the far right of center National Post, recently wrote that the registry is no longer necessary because the murder rate from firearms in Canada has been reduced from 1500 per annum to 772 per annum. Apparently the loss of 772 lives as a result of the use guns is unimportant to the right wing crowd.
Hunting guns are dangerous weapons. They are used to kill animals and can easily kill human beings. It is normal for a country like Canada to take all the precautions that it deems necessary to save lives. The rural community is against having to register a firearm each time a gun or hunting rifle is purchased, however it is not against the various permits and licenses that are required to go hunting. The current government is trying please its rural base but by doing so, may place the lives of many Canadians in peril.